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DHL services may also disrupted; Freight to Ireland is also in crisis

DUBLIN: Due to the transport crisis in the UK, many trucks and drivers are stranded on ports and roads. Many trucks carry food items that are perishable and will go rotten with very limited shelf life. If the problems caused by COVID-19 and Brexit continue like this, there are indications that many truck drivers will be on roads during Christmas. It is also expected that problems related to the disruption of freight traffic to Ireland will be exacerbated.

Company says there will be no major disruption to DHL services; but it will also be affected

The company says there will be no major disruption to DHL services in Ireland, but there are reports that things are not going well. The company announced earlier that it was suspending road-based services to and from Europe. This follows the closure of the Eurotunnel and ferry ports that connect the UK to France. DHL says road services to and from the UK are not impacted.

The company hopes that once the ports reopen, major routes to Europe will be reinstated. The company says services to and from Ireland will continue as usual, as most of DHL Express exports are by air. The company also expects DHL Express delivery services to connect Ireland to Europe and the rest of the world as usual.

Consular flights from the UK

The government began moving to set up special chartered flights for Irish residents stranded in the UK. The decision was announced by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, and Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan. These flights are also available to international passengers stranded at British airports.

The service has been operated by Irish Airlines since yesterday evening. One flight will depart from London, the other departure airport will be decided by the demand from those who contact the Department of Foreign Affairs assistance line.

“It is essential that anyone eligible to travel on the consular flights identifies themselves to the Department of Foreign Affairs, demonstrates their entitlement under the criteria, and registers to be included on the flight by calling the dedicated assistance line +353 1 6131700.”

An Post says parcel movement is in serious crisis

Meanwhile, An Post warned that traffic disruptions in Europe could pose a serious crisis for parcel movement. Germany has banned flights and other arrivals from the UK. An Post reported that UK parcels to Ireland, UK and Europe were delayed at the last minute. Services in Ireland will not be disrupted, but Christmas deliveries will be delayed in many places, An Post said. Officials said they would make every effort to deliver the parcels on time.

Freight transport in great crisis

Independent TD and former president of the Irish Road Haulage Association, Verona Murphy, said freight traffic was in a big crisis despite government intervention. “Many drivers are refusing to go out because they’re not going to get caught up in it. Those who are in Cherbourg trying to get home for Christmas are very concerned – to be sitting on a pier in a port for Christmas or on the side of a road,” Ms. Murphy said.

“We don’t have the capacity. Our last ferry is scheduled for Wednesday – if we only have capacity for 90 trucks and we need capacity for 400, well then they’re going to be sitting either in a port or on the side of the road. There isn’t any other option.” Ms. Murphy said she knew of two hauliers who trapped in Cherbourg with products worth €1million.

“That’s what we’re looking at for the next week. We have product that is perishable and will go rotten with very limited shelf life, five days from the time it’s loaded to the time it gets on the shelf. I suspect it will be worse in two to three days time,” she added.

Online Christmas gifts can also be delayed

There are also reports that people who shop online may not receive Christmas gifts or packages due to the current travel crisis. Eugene Drennan president of the Irish Road Haulage Association, said people who shopped online for gifts this year may not get their packages on time. There have been calls from various quarters for exemptions for Irish trucks from long queues at ports.

Everything possible will be done to solve the problems – Minister for Foreign Affairs

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has said he will do everything possible to address food shortages and try to bring Irish truck drivers stranded in UK ports to the mainland. The Foreign Affairs minister said he hoped the ban on the ferry would not last long. It is therefore hoped that the crisis will be resolved soon, otherwise the movement of goods will be halted.

It has already been reported that about 250 Irish truck drivers stuck at English ports. The crisis is an indication that Britain has not been able to deal with Brexit.

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